the different company: 11 posts

The Different Sel de Vetiver : Perfume Review



Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

With the newest fragrance from The Different Company, Sel de Vetiver, on my arm and a paper blotter, I am reflecting on whether a point ever comes when the world does not need another Vetiver, another tribute to the roots of grass native to tropical Asia that smell of earth and sweet woods. For devoted vetiver fans, there are dark roots that still have soil clinging to them, in case of Maitre Gantier et Parfumeur Route de Vétiver, or seaweed, in case of Annick Goutal Vétiver. Pale earthy whispers wrapped around flower petals in Guerlain Vetiver Pour Elle would delight those who prefer their vetiver rendered in a lighter manner. Frédéric Malle Vétiver Extraordinaire is quite true to its name, the smooth darkness resting on an ambery base. Etro Vetiver is a dry rendition, emphasizing the fresh hazelnut aspect of the root. Hermes Vétiver Tonka is a gourmand take on the vetiver theme.

Sel de Vetiver is an elegantly cut gem–a transparent veil of sweet spices over the layers of earthy vetiver. Created by Celine Ellena, it intricately folds the herbal and floral nuances into the bitter citrus punctuated sharpness, accenting the earthy, woody qualities of vetiver and lending it a delicate sparkle. …

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The Different Company Rose Poivree : Perfume Review



Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

What would one expect a fragrance named Rose Poivrée, peppered rose, to smell like? One is about to wax poetic about dewy crimson roses and warmth of crushed spices. Unwashed body parts probably do not figure in that image, however remarkably this is exactly where The Different Company Rose Poivrée ends up. Animalic and vegetal, the composition belies its floral promise, and yet it captures a facet of rose that is not often associated with it—the waxy and pungent quality.

I have once been told a story by a young perfumer about composing a rose soliflore using very expensive rose absolute during his perfumery training in Grasse. His teacher, Jean-Claude Ellena, looked at the formula and asked him about the purpose of the ingredients. …

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The Different Company Bois d’Iris : Perfume Review



Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

The most compelling quality of Bois d’Iris, a fragrance created by the perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena for The Different Company is its ability to present the silvery and earthy iris root as layers of petals, transparent as if shot through with intense light and soft as if made from Varanasi silk. In contrast to the earthy and rooty irises, Bois d’Iris is marked by such as a lovely floral softness sustained over the dry woody base that I can forgive its lack of tenacity and make a room for it in my crowded collection of iris fragrances (and perfumes by Jean-Claude Ellena, for that matter.)

If creating a rose fragrance is a task of rendering a blossom out of oil extracted from its petals (or from various synthetic materials that range from photorealism to abstraction in terms of their link to the actual flower), constructing iris does not lead the perfumer to think of the sweet, honeyed scent of its flowers. Instead, it entails blending notes that conjure a scent of its roots, the intriguing blend of violets, earth, wood and metallic dust. The sheer complexity of the orris root is the reason for perfumers’ fascination with it, starting with the iconic Jacques Fath Iris Gris (1947). ….

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The Different Company Divine Bergamote : Perfume Review



Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

Jean-Claude Ellena’s take on citrus results in a brilliant clarity supported by a minimalistic and subtly sensual foundation. When The Different Company Divine Bergamote first debuted in 2003, my expectations were of a straightforward citrus fragrance supported by a cedarwood base—a common pairing in perfumery. However, from the first explosion of silky sweet and astringent bergamot to the base notes of soft delicate musk, the fragrance never developed like I imagined.

Ellena used 70% of natural bergamot in the composition and fused it with ginger, which highlights the spicy and chilly quality of the top notes. Like Frederic Malle Cologne Bigarade, another Ellena creation, Divine Bergamote is ornamented beautifully with both floral and verdant touches, none of which are distinct enough to be readily recognized. Yet, they weave seamlessly through the composition, modifying and softening the astringency of citrus. One moment, I smell a cup of chilled ginger tea; the next, a crushed flower bud. Through this impressionistic mélange, I notice a delicate scent of skin after a day in the sun. There is a mere hint of warmth, yet it is enough to lend a whisper of sensuality to the drydown and a doze of interest to what could have been just a sparkling citrusy fragrance.

Notes: bergamot (70% of natural bergamot), ginger, orange blossom, leaf green, rhubarb (wood), musk.

The Different Company Jasmin de Nuit : Perfume Review


The Different Company Jasmin de Nuit was created by the daughter of Jean-Claude Ellena, Celine Ellena. The notes include jasmine, star anise, cinnamon, cardamom, sandalwood and amber. Upon application it is a wonderfully rich jasmine with a transparent quality.


Sandalwood is a good match for jasmine, therefore the result is rather beautiful. After about 15 minutes the spicy ornamentation becomes evident. Cardamom is the one note that stands out the most for me, before the complete drydown, when amber overtakes floral notes.

I notice that jasmine fades rather quickly, leaving cardamom and amber to dominate. The translucent quality of the initial accords disappears, replaced by a dark spicy richness. The Different Company also includes OsmanthusSel de VetiverRose PoivreeBois d’Iris, and Divine Bergamote. Created by Jean-Claude Ellena, they bear his signature elegant style.

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Latest Comments

  • Alison in Scent 101 : Skin Chemistry (New Video): Amber and resin perfumes are the best on me , the dry down of such perfumes especially powdery Amber’s are the best on me, gourmands and sweet perfumes just font… August 14, 2020 at 11:56am

  • irem in Scent 101 : Skin Chemistry (New Video): Hi Tourmaline, I have done that experiment inadvertently when I ate a spread containing a copious amount of fenugreek seeds and other spices including garlic. My sweat and urine smelled… August 14, 2020 at 11:51am

  • Joyce in Scent 101 : Skin Chemistry (New Video): Oh dear, I hope my earlier comment wasn’t the inspiration for this post. Quite embarrassed now. Will keep quiet from this forum from now on…. August 14, 2020 at 9:55am

  • Tourmaline in Scent 101 : Skin Chemistry (New Video): Dear Victoria, Thank you for this interesting post and video. I am looking forward to trying your suggestion of eating a teaspoonful of fenugreek seeds and then seeing how my… August 14, 2020 at 9:40am

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